Team Blitz India
THE coming months are likely to see India signing at least three Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) this year. These include FTAs with the UK, Oman and the European Union and will lead to free movement of goods and services across international borders with little or no government tariffs, quotas, subsidies, or prohibitions, leading to a boost in trade.
Such agreements give a filip to bilateral trade as evidenced by the FTA which was signed with Australia in December 2022. It led to India’s exports to Australia rising 14 per cent year-on-year at $5.87 billion in the first eight months of the current financial year (April-November). It has opened a new market for Indian gold jewellery, garments, and bodies for tractors, among other products.
Talks are now in advanced stages for the proposed three new FTAs. The 13th round of negotiations for the IndiaUK FTA took place from September 18 to December 15. This included sessions in London and Delhi, as well as virtual talks. The negotiations focused on complex issues including goods, services, and investment. The next round of negotiations is likely to take place this month.
Negotiations for the India-Oman Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) stand largely concluded, according to reports.
Switzerland’s Ambassador to India, Ralf Heckner told PTI early December that the EFTA deal with the country was likely to be wrapped up before the 2024 general elections.
Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway comprise the four-nation bloc of EFTA members which is not part of the European Union (EU). Once the trade pacts are in place, barriers to imports and exports between the partners will be reduced for easier trade of goods and services.